Welcome to Asia

So, we arrived in Yangon a few weeks ago, and I’ve been too swamped (and our Internet is too… non-existent) to get around to a blog post. I only have a moment to write this so it won’t be thrilling or eloquent, but I wanted to update all of our not-on-Facebook friends and family.

First things first: we now live in Yangon, Myanmar, formerly known as Rangoon, Burma.

Everyone in Southeast Asia keeps writing to me and saying “Welcome to Asia!” And we do feel welcome. Everyone is so polite. Most people don’t speak any English, but it doesn’t seem to be a huge problem for us. We take taxis everywhere, and even with the language barrier and the lack of accurate addresses/maps, we always manage to get to where we want to go.

We picked the right time to arrive: it’s the cool season, so that means it’s like 85 degrees Fahrenheit and there are only a few mosquitos in our house (at all times). The rest of the year it won’t be this pleasant. It’s funny; several people have said, “oh, you’re coming from Africa, so you are used to the heat.” Well, in South Africa it actually snowed, and in Addis Ababa it was NEVER hot. We didn’t have a single air conditioner or fan in our house.

Like in Addis, we don’t have to worry about malaria here, but there is dengue fever–so I am as vigilant about bug spray as I am about sunblock.

There is an amazing grocery store right by our house. Seriously, amazing. Whole Foods-like produce; lots of imported cheese; beer and wine. What else do you need? When I walked in for the first time, I almost cried. (So, I suppose that if you’re coming here from a very developed country, you may not be as impressed… but it really is adequate, even for the pickiest people.)

Bangkok is less than an hour away by air, which is really convenient. I’ve managed to get almost caught up on doctor’s appointments already.

I joined a co-working space downtown, a small office filled with (by the looks of them) hipsters, journalists, entrepreneurs. I feel very uncool in comparison but the Internet is fast enough and I like being there, even if I only manage to get out of the house for a few hours a week.

People complain about the traffic but it’s not bad, really. We are lucky that we’re centrally located and all of the places we need to go (work, school, club) are usually within 20-45 minutes away. In Asia, that is a pretty amazing commute.

We are still working on the school situation. Apparently getting into a preschool is as competitive as it is in Manhattan. The girls are so bored at home without their toys–I wish I’d known how hard it is to find a preschool. But all things considered, we really like it so far. I think that it will be a great place for our family once we are settled.

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